Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Using serviettes for toilet paper


Now that I have kicked the squatters out, I feel rather lonely. I said how all your posts are neatly stacked one on top of the other again in my reading list, but I am somewhat disappointed in how few there are to read.

I am finally beginning to learn which of you has enabled 'comment moderation' and I avoid reading those ones because - as I said years ago - if I feel moved enough to leave a comment, I want it to print straight up. I don't want to go back to see if it meets with your approval a day later, so I never do. I don't want to feel the slight of it being ingored as unimportant either, so I never go back to see if I got a response if I do temporarily forget and leave a comment. I want instant gratification, but it seems a bit harsh to stop following someone because they vet all comments at their leisure.

Like Iris, I miss the style of the Hattatts, but not so much that I take them up on the offers of visiting them for afternoon tea, it seems. The trouble is that they are either at the other side of the country or out of it all together.

I have tried inviting them to Bath to take tea in the Pump Rooms with me, but I get the feeling that  - like a lot of people over the last 250 years - they think that Bath is ever so slightly vulgar. They are right, it is, but I have left it far too late to move somewhere else now. Having said that, they are a little older than me, I think, but they seem to embrace the excitement of moving to a new town and beginning a new life. Oh well, I hated change even when I was young.

With some people, the glamour rubs off by association in the same way that a person of previous good character may be turned into a criminal by spending time amongst seasoned ones in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Over the years I seem to have lost sight of the revelation that came to me when young - that if you pretend to be something for long enough, it becomes real. You become that thing which you pretended to be. I suppose this is how I lost sight of it.

This simple practice works very easily and quickly in the criminal world, but not in aristocratic circles.

When invited to spend the weekend with Lord and Lady So-and-So at their house in the country, one gives oneself away the very moment one opens one's mouth, no matter how cut-glass one's accent.

You might as well blurt out to your hosts on the doorstep of the house after a long drive from the suburbs, "Pleased to meet you I'm sure. Where is the toilet?" and get it over with.

There is a way of mixing well in all cirlces of life, and this is to be an Artist. Not just any old artist though, or - worse - someone who just calls themself an artist. You have to be an entertaining one. You have to sing for your supper in a good voice, and then you may be forgiven for calling napkins 'serviettes', or at least have the slip forebearingly overlooked.


42 comments:

  1. Talking of vulgar, John's comment section has gone right downhill recently, don't you think? I think it was this sort of tasteless bickering with obscene insults that made the H's depart from the blogosphere.

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    1. John likes to encourage all comers.

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    2. I meant to say embrace.

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    3. I only embrace big hairy men

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    4. Only if they are all comers?

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  2. In this house, they are referred to as 'bibs'.

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    1. I absolutely refuse to tuck a 'bib' into my Jermyn Street shirt. I have been grown up now for... actually I haven't.

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  3. I can't remember if it's Serviettes or Napkins, Lavatory or Loo. I'm sure that I am Non U. We use aprons when eating in front of the TV with trays! That rather says it all.

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    1. Ohhh, potty! TV trays! I've been there, done that. The shame of it! Sometimes I comment on my husband's lack of decorum while eating by saying: "What would Lady Apsley say!"

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    2. I was brought up with dinners on laps in front of the TV, and I vowed I would never do it again.

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  4. We use straw or a handful of grass and guests are expected to fall in. Do you remember the time I said fuck the Hattatts when I was in Kings Cross? Jane didn't mind and we became friends after that.

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    1. No, thankfully I have put that out of my memory. Did you use the straw to wipe your hands or your arses?

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  5. That's where shirt tails come in handy or just simply swipe your hands over the nearest person.

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  6. Tom, I am going to veer off topic and inquire about this spring's peregrine falcon nest. I have begun watching the web cam, but wonder if there is any local information about this year's happy family.

    Best wishes.

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    1. I haven't tuned in yet, but I imagine there is a lot of shagging going on right now. That doesn't make for particularly interesting webcam footage.

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  7. Aristocrats? fuck'em all if they are judgemental. There are decent people across all classes of life.

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    1. So you voted Corbyn in then?

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    2. Gosh no...he get's on my last nerve. Snobs are a pain in the arse and good manners, a kind heart and respect for people is far more desirable in a person than a title and a snooty attitude.

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    3. I know snobs who qualify in all three areas.

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  8. My, mother who was a home help and also worked for a rather "posh" woman spent many hours teaching me which knife and fork to use and to say napkin not serviette and so on. She said I never knew where I might end up one day. Well I've ended up nowhere special, but have dined etc at some pretty posh homes and been glad not to feel a complete peasant. Re the Hatts I was never sure just how genuine they were, but acknowledge they are loved by many.

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    1. I checked. The Hat@s are 100% genuine and lovely people. I have shagged distant relatives of the Queen, so I think I am qualified to judge... I have to stress that they were all women, in case you get the wrong idea. Oh, I just remembered - I kissed Princess Diana's half-brother once. It was Christmas and we were rather drunk...

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    2. I always found your blog very interesting, but now we are reaching a whole 'nother level!

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    3. Please tell me about it. I am not aware of how interesting I am (or try to be).

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  9. I never commented on Hattat's blog, with my English i would not dare,on the other hand, one of my far relatives is a Lord,so may be i could.

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    1. This is the second time you have mentioned your Lord relative, Yael. Please tell me his title. I may know him. Recently elected or hereditary?

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  10. Is the Hattats' blog still going? I always enjoyed it but it doesn't show up on my feed any more.

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  11. Oh I see you know them personally, sorry it takes me rather a long time to sort unexpected facts out in my head.

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    1. We were just bemoaning the fact that they no longer contribute to out communal boredom relief. Or any other relief for that matter.

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    2. The best place to follow them now is on Instagram.

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    3. Really? I didn't know that. I am trying to avoid Instagram so I probably won't.

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    4. Yes, lots of lovely photographs, just right, spot on, and just enough to ration you to keep you wanting more. Instagram is fine if used right.

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  12. Oh, how I wish I was young enough to qualify as some sort of wild boy who would interest them without referral to Iford Manor..........

    IFORD MANOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  13. I used to meet up with an elderly lady some years ago on a dog walk, and she was quite " posh". One day she was pontificating about whether one should refer to napkins or serviettes. I told her I had neither and if the need arose we used a sheet of paper towel ! I think she avoided me after that! It was no great loss.

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    1. The trouble with proper napkins/serviettes is the cleaning of the almost inevitable red wine and tomato stains. I, of course, put out our lovely white linen ones for our guests and I'm still trying to get them back to a pristine condition. Shows we are not Posh as they don't go to the Laundry.

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    2. I use the Jumbo paper rolls for everything, every day. I don't mind snobs so long as they don't take themselves seriously. True posh people are the most tolerant and polite that you will ever find. The same applies to ordinary non-posh people.

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    3. I am definitely non posh!!

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  14. I wrote a post about this sort of thing 6yrs ago...I agree that there are pp and utp people.

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